EXCLUSIVE: Walden Media has acquired film rights to Flat Stanley, the series of children’s books created in 1964 by Jeff Brown about the adventures of a two-dimensional person stuck in a 3D world. The plan is to shoot the film live action, using visual effects to turn the lead character into a one-dimensional hero (why do I feel like I’ve given Deadline commenters a wealth of ammunition to discuss the current state of 3D and certain leading actors with those last two sentences?)
The protagonist is Stanley Lambchop, who, after being given a bulletin board by his father to put above his bed, is flattened by it in the night. He’s OK despite his appearance and can slip under doors and entertain his brother by posing as a kite. He even solves an art heist by posing as a wall painting. The series has sold millions of copies around the world. The film will be produced by John Carls and his Wild Things Productions banner. Carls’ credits include Where The Wild Things Are as well as Rango. Walden Media CEO Michael Bostick and senior veep Evan Turner set up the project and are meeting with filmmakers for the adaptation.
The series has an underground following because of the creation of The Flat Stanley Project, hatched in 1995 in middle schools around the US, which broadened around the world. Students who’ve read Flat Stanley make connections with one another, bringing their own Flat Stanley cutouts around the world. The figure has shown up with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Jon Stewart and President Obama. Walden’s next release will be the Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.